Tag Archives: Weather

How to Prepare Your Home for the Effects of Climate Change

Climate change used to seem like something that would confront our grandchildren—a distant concern. Now, though, it’s staring us right in the face when we get up in the morning.

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Fearsome German Power Saloon Betrayed By Water From The Sky

Mercedes-Benz has always engineered its sedans with a balance of luxury and performance, but they’re only as capable as the shoes they wear, as this video of one spinning out on the highway proves.

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Watch A Foul-Mouthed Guy Get His Car Run Over By A Tornado

We’ve run dashcam videos of some pretty insane things, but I think this is the first time we’ve seen a dashcam video, from the driver’s viewpoint, of a stationary car getting engulfed by a tornado, like a colossal amoeba engulfing some microscopic sandwich or whatever they eat. It’s pretty alarming to see, but…

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NYC’s Grand Central Became A Madhouse The Moment Severe Weather Hit The City 

New York City got battered last evening by severe weather, and as a precautionary measure, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority closed train lines that head north out of the city. This promptly turned Grand Central Station into, well, this.

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The Weather Channel App Now Tells You the Best Time to Go for a Run

The Weather Channel App Now Tells You the Best Time to Go for a Run

iOS/Android: Most of us run our best when it’s cool and cloudy, so in the summer that can mean taking a close look at the hourly forecast to find the best time to beat the heat. Now, the Weather Channel app can do that work for you.

The app’s home screen now boasts a “GoRun forecast” rating the current running weather on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best. By default, it seems to flag dry 70-degree days as perfect for running, but you can adjust the ratings by setting your own preferences.

Hit “Details” and you can check out the hour-by-hour ratings for today and tomorrow, plus a running forecast for the rest of the week. Try it yourself at the links below.

The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel | iTunes

The Weather Channel | Google Play Store

Build Your Own Internet-Connected Handheld Weather Station

Build Your Own Internet-Connected Handheld Weather Station

A weather station is a fun project that teaches you a ton about electronics with the added benefit being an actually useful little device. Instructables user Ingenerare has a guide for making your own little tiny weather station on the cheap.

The project requires a bunch of cheap parts and sensors totaling less than $20, and the whole thing ends up fitting in your hand. The station creates a web site that monitors temperature, dew point, humidity, pressure, light index, and rain. It’s a pretty easy set up, and you’ll just need some basic electronics skills to get it going. Head over to Instructables for the full guide.

Easy IoT Weather Station | Instructables

Five Things to Do Now to Prepare Your Home for the Summer Heat

Five Things to Do Now to Prepare Your Home for the Summer Heat

We’re weeks away from sweltering temperatures, hurricane warnings, and bug invasions. And this year is expected to be an especially hot one in many areas. Before summer hits at full force, make sure you and your home are prepared.

Give Your Air Conditioner a Checkup

Now’s the time to make sure your air conditioning is in perfect working order. If you test your HVAC system today and find out it’s not functioning properly, you need time to come up with a solution before the weather gets unbearable.

First, replace your air filter to make sure the whole system runs smoothly. Clear any debris on or around your vents or exhausts, and clean off any dirt from the main unit outside. From there, test the unit itself to make sure it’s doing its job. SafeElectricity.org says you can simply leave your AC on while you’re away and test it out. That should do the trick, but if you’re looking for a test that’s a little more detailed, you can turn on the unit and check its efficiency with a simple thermometer. The Family Handyman explains:

…set a thermometer on the supply register that’s closest to the inside cooling equipment. Keep it there for five minutes and note the temperature. Do the same thing at the return vent. The air coming out should be 14 to 20 degrees cooler than the air going in. An air conditioner that’s not cooling to those levels could be low on refrigerant or have leaks. A unit cooling more than 20 degrees could have a severe blockage.

If your unit isn’t working properly or efficiently, it might be time to call in a professional. They’ll test the unit itself and test your air ducts for any potential leaks.

If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, now might be a good time to bite the bullet and invest in one. You may also consider a smart thermostat, that does the thinking (and programming) for you to save energy and keep you comfortable. Depending on how often you use your air conditioning in summer, you can cut your electric bill quite a bit. If your AC unit is more than 15-20 years old, you might consider replacing it with a more energy-efficient, Energy Star unit (bonus: you get a tax credit).

If you’re installing a window AC for the first time, it’s probably easiest and safest to call in a professional. If you want to DIY, the instructions will vary depending on the unit and what kind of window you’re working with. Generally, though, you’ll have to install extensions around the unit, fasten it down with brackets and with the upper window pane, then fasten the extensions and seal the unit. Here are more detailed instructions.


Test for Ventilation Leaks

Your air conditioner is functioning efficiently—great! If you have leaks in your home, though, it doesn’t really matter, because that perfectly cooled air is slowly leaking out. You can call in a professional, but it’s simple enough to conduct your own home energy audit first.


First, look for actual leaks: drafts in your windows and doors. If you do find any leaks, you can seal them up with caulk and weather stripping. Speaking of windows, MyHomeIdeas suggests a few additions to keep them cool: reflective film, sunscreen-fabric curtains, roller shades.

If you’ve never checked the attic or basement insulation in your home, it may have compacted over the years, which means it’s not covering everything it should. Check your insulation for leaks and gaps. Former Lifehacker contributor Timothy Dahl suggests you look around pipes and ductwork, specifically, and fill those areas using expanding foam. You should also make sure the attic floor is insulated without blocking vents. When it comes to adding large amounts of your own insulation, keep in mind: it can be a pretty messy job.

Set Up a Barrier for Bugs

Summer weather seems to bring out the bugs, and San Joaquin Pest Control explains why:

For the most part, many bugs and insects go into some form of hibernation during the colder months. Other insects migrate someplace warm to wait out the colder months. Still others decide the best way to stay out of the cold is to camp out in your home. You may see more bugs in your house in the winter months, although many of them make their homes inside walls and attics where you are unlikely to encounter them…The minute it starts warming up, the bugs of summer will begin to flock to your area.

In my old apartment, we’d get an influx of ants every year. If you don’t have a landlord to take care of pest control, or you just want to do it yourself, there are a number of ways to keep bugs from coming in.


First, make sure everything is properly sealed. And if you checked for leaks, you’ve already done this. Check the caulking around your windows and doors, then fix any drafts or gaps with new weather stripping and caulking. Spray your outdoor perimeter with a pesticide, along with baseboards, sinks, windows, and doors. There are specific options for creating an insect barrier, too: Ortho Home Defense and Raid Bug Barrier, for example.

Read all the applicable warnings on the pesticide and make sure your pets don’t get into it. It’s easy enough to make your own DIY natural repellant, and Apartment Therapy offers a simple solution here.

Change Your Ceiling Fan Direction

Yes, your ceiling fan is designed to rotate differently depending on the season. In winter months, it should rotate clockwise to help distribute heat that’s risen. In the summer, though, you should run your fan counter-clockwise at higher speeds to get a breeze going.

Check to see which direction the fans in your home are moving, and, if necessary, hit the small black switch near the base to change directions.


Prevent Water Damage

Summer weather isn’t just hot and sticky. It can also be stormy and, sometimes, dangerous. For example, hurricane season hits in the summer months, and with it often comes flooding. Make sure your house is protected, and as Quick and Dirty Tips points out, this starts with your foundation:

check your basement for cracks and leaks. Build up dirt or place grates outside your house to direct water away from the foundation. If the dirt you currently have has settled around your house, water will start running toward your house. As a general rule, a grate of one-inch-per-foot will ensure proper water runoff.

Again, make sure your windows and doors are properly sealed and caulked, too. You should also test your gutters. Turn on your garden hose and place it inside the gutter so water begins to run. Then, walk around your home’s perimeter and check the gutter. Look for water coming out of any places it shouldn’t. You should also check your gutters for dips or sags where water might pool near your house.

Inspect your roof to ensure it’s in good working order (remove any debris and leaves while you’re up there). You can call a professional, but if you want to do it yourself, HouseLogic lists a few issues to look out for:

  • Cracked caulk or rust spots on flashing.
  • Shingles that are buckling, curling, or blistering.
  • Missing or broken shingles.
  • Cracked and worn rubber boots around vent pipes.
  • Missing or damaged chimney cap…
  • Masses of moss and lichen, which could signal the roof is decaying underneath. Black algae stains are just cosmetic.

You can check your indoor ceiling for early signs of leaking, too. You might notice dark water stains or peeling paint. If you do find a leak, you want to call in a professional as soon as possible, especially if you live in an area that gets hit hard with summer rain.

Now is the time to make a few changes around your home to prepare for the extreme weather. With a few tweaks and inspections, it’s easy enough to make sure you’re in good shape by the time summer arrives.

Illustration by: Sam Woolley

You Have To Be Insane To Drive Your Car This Close To A Tornado

Tornadoes. When you see a warning about them on the weather channel, it usually advises you to take shelter or get on out of there. But some folks are into chasing those storms, and we end up with extreme close ups of a phenomenon that a lot of us would rather not venture out to get for ourselves.

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Putin Annexes Sky, Exiles Dissident Clouds

There will be no clouds over Moscow on May Day—because military planes will spray them with liquid nitrogen, granulated carbon dioxide and special cement, miles before they ever get to the city. The chemically perforated sky pests will then either immediately disperse or void themselves first, deluging premature rainwater on whatever villages or suburbs they’re over at the time.

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One Company Wants To Put A Windshield Wiper On Your Motorcycle Helmet

Rumor has it that it rains in some parts of the world, and that motorcyclists often choose to ride anyways. For those of you who ride in the rain and are fed up with trying to ride while pawing at your shield or turning your head from side to side to get the drops to blow off comes Rainpal – an electric wiper for your face shield.

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